It’s no secret that financing your education at the undergraduate or graduate level can be unbelievably expensive these days. It’s not uncommon for one year of tuition and board to cost upwards of $20,000, $30,000, or even $50,000. And this is to say nothing of books, entertainment, and travel expenses. Fortunately, however, there are numerous scholarships available to help you lower your costs, and in some cases, remove these costs entirely.
Unfortunately, there are also scholarship scams that can fleece you of your money and ultimately make your college or graduate experience even more expensive. Below are some helpful guidelines to help you avoid scholarship scams so that you can devote your full time and attention to learning, socializing, and enjoying your academic experience.
Scholarship Scams: Avoiding Fees
Although there are some scholarships that have processing fees, avoid agencies that offer your subscriptions to “comprehensive and guaranteed scholarship lists.” Besides, there are countless free resources that can connect you with legitimate scholarships, so why should you have to pay?
Scholarship Scams: Too Good to Be True
If a scholarship sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Large cash prizes were “everyone” is eligible should sound alarm bells in your head. Most legitimate scholarships have at least some criteria that applicants must meet.
Scholarship Scams: High Success Rate and Connections
Agencies that promise high success rates and agencies that boast about having insider information or connections should also be avoided. Certainly, a scholarship agency should be old to offer guidance, support, or insight, but merit, financial need, and dedication are what win scholarships.
Lastly, use your school’s resources or those available at your local library to help connect with individual scholarships and grant programs. In other words, stick with trusted names, legitimate sources, and nonprofit organizations as much as possible to avoid falling prey to scholarship scams.